BBC readies US HD channel

The BBC plans to launch a high definition version of its BBC America channel shortly, BBC Worldwide Channels’ managing director Darren Childs tells TBIvision.

Worldwide has just launched its first high definition channel in an international market with BBC HD forming part of the launch line-up of Australian pay TV operator Foxtel’s HD service, which rolled out earlier this month. Worldwide now plans to launch a fully HD version of its popular BBC America channel.

"The next big push for HD is the US and an HD version of BBC America," Childs says. "The market for HD channels is evolving in two ways: in the US all channels are going HD and the number of SD channels is diminishing. Whereas in Europe HD is being used as more of a premium service and that’s why we will have a mixed genre service there."

Worldwide has launched numerous channels under the leadership of former Sony exec Childs. He joined Worldwide in late 2005 since when the international channels offering has been tweaked with BBC Prime becoming BBC Entertainment and lifestyle programming being carried on a dedicated channel, BBC Lifestyle. Worldwide has also launched its kids channel CBeebies into several markets.

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